Business Planning

Creating a business plan for small rural charities in Argyll and Bute involves considering specific factors that are relevant to the organisation’s context. However, many of the key principles for larger organisations will also work for small groups and again will be useful when applying for funding in order to demonstrate that you are well managed.

Mission and Vision:

Clearly define your charity’s mission and vision. Explain the purpose and values that guide your organisation, emphasising its commitment to serving the local community in Argyll and Bute.

Community Engagement:

Understand the unique needs and challenges of the local community. Engage with stakeholders, including community members, local businesses, and other organisations, to ensure your charity’s activities align with the community’s priorities.


Develop strategies for financial sustainability. Outline potential funding sources, such as grants, donations, partnerships, and fundraising initiatives. Consider how the charity can generate income while staying true to its mission.

Programmes and Services:

Clearly outline the programmes and services your charity will offer. Address the specific needs of the rural community and demonstrate how your initiatives will make a positive impact. Consider scalability and adaptability to changing circumstances.

Regulatory Compliance:

Understand and adhere to the legal and regulatory requirements for charities in Scotland. Familiarize yourself with governance structures, reporting obligations, and any specific regulations applicable to rural charities.

Partnerships and Collaboration:

Identify potential partners and collaborators, including local businesses, government agencies, and other nonprofit organisations. Collaborative efforts can enhance the impact of your charity and provide additional resources.

Risk Management:

Identify potential risks to the organisation and develop a risk management plan. This includes financial risks, operational challenges, and external factors that may impact the charity’s ability to achieve its objectives.

Monitoring and Evaluation:

Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the effectiveness of your programmes. Regularly monitor and evaluate your charity’s impact, making data-driven decisions to improve and adjust activities as needed.

Communication and Marketing:

Develop a communication strategy to raise awareness about your charity’s work. Utilize various channels, such as social media, local newspapers, and community events, to promote your initiatives and engage with the community.

Volunteer and Staff Management:

If applicable, outline plans for recruiting, training, and managing volunteers. Ensure that staff and volunteers understand the mission and values of the charity and provide ongoing support and recognition for their contributions.


Recognise the dynamic nature of the nonprofit sector and the rural context. Be prepared to adapt your plans in response to changing community needs, external factors, or shifts in funding sources.

Remember to involve key stakeholders in the planning process and seek feedback regularly to ensure that your business plan remains relevant and responsive to the needs of the small rural charity in Scotland.